Clothing Etiquette for Chefs vs. Non-Chefs

  Georgie  Hawthorne     November 23, 2021    6


The cooking industry is a very competitive business. If you want to stand out from the crowd, it will be necessary for you to present yourself in a manner that sets you apart from the rest of the world.


As a chef, you know that your appearance is one of the first interactions customers have with you. No matter how good the food tastes or smells, if your customer does not like what they see when they meet you it can be hard to win them over. In addition to dressing well as a chef in professional attire such as a chef coat or cook shirt, and fancy toque, will also help increase sales and improve business relationships because those in other industries often dress more casually than chefs do for work. In the food industry, these days you will find very alluring and stylish uniforms for chefs, and different styles of men’s and women’s chef coats, made to suit the shape and figure of the wearer.


If non-chefs want to dine out at formal restaurants, then this means that their clothing etiquette should match that setting as well. They should wear nice but casual clothes such as slacks and collared shirts so they are comfortable while dining yet still look presentable enough for others who may judge them by appearance.


Chefs, although they generally wear a white uniform, can wear whatever they want as long as it is clean and presentable. Cleanliness is key when it comes to restaurants. A chef uniform will generally consist of the following:

  • A chef's coat, which is white and typically has long sleeves. It can be buttoned up or unbuttoned at the collar with two buttons undone so that it does not get in the way when working.
  • Pants are usually black to match their shoes but brown pants will do if they cannot find any matching black ones.
  • Chef hats may be worn depending on where they work; some restaurants require them while others don't allow them because of health code regulations. If chefs choose to wear a hat, then it must be spotless with no visible stains.
  • Kitchen clogs or cooking boots should always have non-skid soles for safety purposes and comfort.


In a formal setting a chef wearing his full garb is considered an asset when he enters the kitchen, but in a casual restaurant it may be viewed as pretentious.


Non-chefs should wear casual clothes that are similar to a business casual look rather than a formal one if they want to dine at a restaurant where the dress code is "business". They can still dress well but not as formally as chefs would for work.


When it comes to cooking, the first thing to remember is that you should not wear your best clothes. They will get dirty and smell of food if you are cooking in them, so change into some old clothes or a chef's uniform before starting anything culinary. In addition, the food being prepared could be contaminated by bacteria, dirt, fur and other things, so it is advisable to wear a uniform and gloves at all times when cooking.


Wait staff should not be dressed too casually either, or they will come across as unprofessional and uninformed about the restaurant's menu. It may seem silly to put on a tie just because one is serving food, but that little extra effort goes a long way in making diners feel welcome and comfortable with their surroundings. The same rule applies for women; if you are wearing nice clothes, make sure your hair looks presentable before heading out into public. This extends beyond restaurants; waitresses who want to look professional can practice these simple tips for looking great while working long hours without time off.


Cleaning a chef uniform regularly is very important in order to prevent stains and keep your clothes looking fresh. Chefs should wear black pants, a chef coat or jacket with their name on it, an apron that is easily identifiable to their restaurant or kitchen and closed-toe shoes for safety reasons. They can also choose whether they would like to add protective gear such as gloves and hats depending on the type of cooking environment in which they work (e.g., high heat). Non-chef professions do not typically require uniforms but if you work in the food industry then wearing professional clothing is expected. This means keeping up appearances by ironing out any wrinkles before heading into public view; make sure everything fits nicely too, baggy clothes are never appealing.


Aprons are an integral part of the chef uniform, because spills and splashes are a part of cooking. Most chefs wear thick, rubberized aprons that protect their clothes from hot liquids, grease stains or any kind of food-related accident. In addition to an apron, you should have on different types of heat resistant gloves such as mitts for handling items out of the oven or stovetop. If you do not work in the professional kitchen industry then it is fine if your clothing does not look polished when you leave home to head into public view, however, make sure everything fits nicely and are appealing.

 Article keywords:
Chef Coats, Women's chef coats, Cook Shirts


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